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What you Need to Know Before Opening a Restaurant

After years of dreaming of owning a restaurant of your own, you have finally decided to make that dream a reality. Opening a restaurant is a huge endeavor and there are so many little things that need to be done before you open your doors to customers. At RPA, we have spent decades in the restaurant industry. We understand the ins and outs of what separates the good from the great. Follow some of these tips for opening a restaurant to ensure a successful opening and the longevity of your business.


1. Secure a Location

First things first, where do you want your restaurant to be located? Picking out a location is more than finding a place with a cheap lease. You are going to want to pick a location that you know will be frequented by the local community. If you are trying to reach a more professional crowd, position your restaurant near popular office complexes or a downtown area. If you want to target families, do some research on where most families are going out to eat – and adjust your plan accordingly. Some experts recommend signing a longer lease to avoid having to move a year or two after the restaurant’s opening.


2. Hire and Train the Right People

Your staff will be the next most important part of your restaurant. From the chefs, to managers, to wait staff – hire with scrutiny and attention to detail. All of these people will be directly representing your business. It isn’t enough to just hire a staff, they must also be properly trained. Even if they have past restaurant experience, this is your chance to make sure everyone is held to the same level of accountability and attentiveness to the customer. Create protocols for how orders are taken and processed so that everyone is on the same page.


3. Get the Proper Equipment

From silverware, cups and place settings, to ovens and grills, equipment is a huge investment for any restaurant business. You need to make the decision to either rent or buy this equipment. Keep in mind the money you should have saved for repairs and replacements if necessary. The equipment is the heart of your kitchen, so invest wisely.


4. Secure a Restaurant Insurance Policy

This is our area of expertise. Most restaurant owners do not realize the importance of restaurant insurance until it is unfortunately too late. There are several different policies to consider, and all will depend on your specific needs. For example, you may need BYOB liquor liability insurance if you allow patrons to bring their own alcohol. Or, you may require equipment breakdown insurance if you are investing in kitchen equipment. There are several other insurance options to consider - depending on the area your restaurant is located in. Speak with a restaurant insurance professional to ensure you have all the proper coverage.

5. Create a Business Plan

Lastly, do not skip out on a comprehensive business plan. This is where you will outline your goals for opening day, maintaining a steady stream of revenue, and keeping your business afloat. Ensure that you have marketing materials and exposure to the local community leading up to opening day. Establish buzz about the opening to get people excited. Getting people to walk into your restaurant is half the battle, the other half is impressing them with your food and superior service.


Are you ready? Once you have all your bases covered, you won’t believe how quickly your restaurant is up and running. Good luck, and don’t forget to call the restaurant insurance experts at RPA. We are proud to focus all of our efforts on restaurant insurance in America, and look forward to helping you secure the exact amount of insurance you need. Contact us today to get started.